Did you know that the transition from caterpillar to butterfly is a complete and utter transition. It's not like the tadpole to the frog in that the tadpole slowly absorbs its tail and grows legs while the body fills out... Oh no! The caterpillar, after creating its cocoon, actually completely dissolves. It doesn't grow wings inside the cocoon and poof it's a butterfly. Nope. Nope. Nope. It melts down into a primordial ooze and reforms at the cellular level. The transition for the caterpillar is to die and then be reborn. It is such a fundamental change that it takes an amazing amount of energy.
And not only that, when the butterfly is ready to emerge. It is a monumental struggle for such a delicate creature that it's really a miracle it survives at all. Here's the kicker, and this is sooo exciting! The harder the butterfly struggles to emerge from its cocoon, the longer it will live.
Ok, I admit, it doesn't seem particularly uplifting yet, it just seems hard, right? Another confirmation that life is hard. But here's the amazing thing... A caterpillar lives its life, in essence, to become a butterfly. To find its wings. In order to do that, it has to so completely change, it basically dies.
There are all kinds of transitions for humans, from the very small and insignificant - a haircut - to the more serious - divorce or death or finding yourself. And the more important the change, the harder the transition. Why is that? Because, like the caterpillar to the butterfly, the hardest change, the melting down and reforming makes coming out of the cocoon even sweeter. It makes life worth living. It gives us perspective.
During the big changes... the BIG transitions... if we let ourselves break down completely... down into the ooze to grieve what was, we can emerge with wings.